Micro Weddings & Elopements in the Grand Tetons
The days are short, the nights are long. There is magic in the air! It’s dreamy, enchanting and sublime. The winter is in full force for Rocky Mountain brides between November and April. Planning a winter wedding is not without challenges, but with the right preparation, a snowy soirée can exceed your wildest expectations.
01. Severe Weather
In the last five years, Jackson Hole has averaged over forty feet of snow during the winter. Forty. Feet. Mmhmm. It’s gnarly, it’s glorious, and a stellar time to smooch to forever. That said, it’s important to be aware of road closures and delays. Slick spots, falling rocks and black ice are not uncommon in this area and should be taken very seriously. Also, leave some room for flight delays as well as road closures. I hate to be the voice of reason and all, but it’s a good idea to arrive a few days earlier than your wedding date to allot for unanticipated circumstances. Even in the case of perfect conditions, leaving a little buffer room gives you time to check out some of the cool attractions!
02. Pack Layers
Just go ahead and count on a 70° weather swing. One minute you’re in a short-sleeve Hawaiian shirt skipping over mud puddles and the next you’re wearing a fur-lined parka wondering if hell has finally frozen over. The climate of this area is one of the reasons so many people love it; but do prepare for sunny skies one minute and blinding snowstorms the next! If you are confined to one or two suitcases, choose clothing that can do double or triple duty in various situations. For example, pick a pair of shoes that you could window-shop in but could also wear across a snow-covered field and climbing a mountain—in other words, insulated hiking boots. Don’t forget to pack some wool socks! Never underestimate the value of a puffer vest.
Chances are, even if you’re counting on an indoor ceremony, you’ll want to capture some stunning photos outdoors. As far as winter wedding attire goes, you’re in luck because it’s awesome! Winter weddings are incredibly underrated. My favorite advantage is simply that it’s something out of the ordinary. Rich hues, velvety textures, and no shortage of sparkle call for romantic accessories like faux-fur capes, ornate shawls, and oh-so-cute mittens. Every time you look back on your micro wedding or elopement photos, you’ll feel warm and fuzzy.
03. Stay Hydrated
Like seriously. Even when temps dip below zero, the air is dry. Keep drinking water! Studies show that even mild dehydration has been linked to bad moods, poor sleep, inflammation, and higher risk for diseases. Technically, even that eggnog latte counts towards your daily fluid intake, so just keep sipping. And on that note, avoid dry, irritated skin with a nourishing lip-balm and body moisturizer. You can thank me later.
Remember, too, that ultraviolet rays don’t fly south for the winter. In fact, a good sunscreen is a must! At an outstanding elevation of 6000+ feet, the base of the Tetons is not far from the sun. Your skin can burn much quicker and more severely at a high altitude than it can at sea level. For a long day in the sun, it’s best to have a wide-brimmed hat (here’s your excuse to get yourself a new cowboy hat from one of the local shops)—which reminds me! When the sun bounces off the snow it is excruciatingly bright; you’ll def want some eyewear with UV protection to avoid burning your corneas to a crisp.
04. Private Wedding Day Transport
There’s A LOT going on before a wedding ceremony. Hair, makeup, happy tears, mascara reapplication, toasts and more. A chauffeur will keep an eye on the clock and make sure you show up to the right place at the right time. Nobody wants to be at the mercy of a fickle GPS navigation app in unfamiliar territory while also trying to avoid sliding into a moose. Icy roads are dangerous and, frankly, terrifying. Even if you are a seasoned pro, recruiting private wedding-day transportation adds a pop of glam and sets your mind at ease. Not to mention, you can feel free to safely indulge in an extra hot toddy with your soon-to-be-spouse because someone else is taking the wheel.
05. Get Creative
There is so much to do in this area! Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and maximize your micro wedding or elopement experience! Winter weather provides so many opportunities to get outdoors and play with your honey-boo. Embrace the magic of the season by hitting the slopes, taking a sleigh-ride or even sled-dog tour! Check out some galactic goodness and planetary nebulae with astronomers or on your own (telescope required) to see the heavens like you’ve never seen them before.
Truly, the Jackson area is paradise for nature junkies. The National Elk Refuge’s grasslands host thousands of elk every year. In addition to the eagles, falcons and owls soaring through the skies overhead, Tetonia is littered with badgers, fox, coyotes, long-tailed weasels, and snowshoe hares. Through the winter months, there’s a bonanza of mule deer, bison, and mountain goats—aka big horned sheep—and my personal favorite, the other-worldly and magnificent trumpet swans.
06. Eat. Drink. Be Merry.
Finally, The coupe de grâce to all the prep—Styling! Rely on Elope Jackson to style the wedding with (if applicable) an additional event assistant according to the approved design plans. By leaving the decorating duties to the professionals, you and your loved ones can relax and enjoy the ambiance without worrying about who’s going to light the candles. Breathe in, breathe out, and be in the moment; there will be someone else to take designated phone calls, d
Is there a better time to stuff your face with yummy goodness than during the coldest, darkest months of the year? It’s called comfort food for a reason! Après-exploring demands some heart-warming nourishment. The culinary Jackson Hole scene is absolutely insane (but in the best way); there’s a flourishing farm-to-table scene and ever-increasing chef community bringing options galore. Whether you’re in the mood for waffles, chili, or a bison filet…prepare to be amazed!
Winter weddings call for bold flavors like roasted meat, rustic-colored vegetables, warming spices, and nostalgic desserts. Don’t forget about HOT drinks! Turn up the heat with
PHOTO CREDIT: Out West Photography // BEAUTY: Tanya Crocker // FLORAL: Historia Florals // LOCATION: Jackson Hole Vintage Adventures
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